Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Photo technology at its finest

The olden days of snapshots and their not-so-fond memories:
  • Purchase overpriced film (or throw your money away on the budget variety)
  • Limit the number of snapshots taken to avoid "using up all the pictures too soon"
  • Take film to be developed (also overpriced), or mail it and wait a week or so for your prints to arrive
  • End up disappointed by improper exposure / lousy poses / poor print quality
  • And keep up with all those negatives!
I don't blame my daddy for having his own darkroom and admire his photography skills. And for those of you who didn't realize where I got my shutterbug tendencies ... now you know. :-)

Fast forward to the 21st Century:
What a life-changing device my digital camera has been! Now I can take a gazillion photos, plug them into my computer, save my favorites, then carelessly toss out the ones I don't like — all in less than an hour.

After investing in Adobe Photoshop software before hitting the road last April, several of the summer's "photo shoots" were taken with plans to combine multiple photos to create panoramas of the Midwest's magnificent scenery. Being confined indoors during the cold snap has been the perfect opportunity to learn this. I took several photos of Fairhope's fancy new Wal-Mart to use as guinea pigs:

Wal-Mart Supercenter · Fairhope, Alabama
Ta-Dah! My first-ever Adobe Photoshop panorama

Until I get the hang of blending the separate images to appear more natural, I'll focus on shutter speed and lots of overlapping to avoid different exposures between shots.

I’ve got several snapshots taken from the Devils Tower Golf Course overlook that I want to play with before I'm finished making panoramas out of last summer's photos. I've posted the results of several others behind the link below. As I add more, I'll hopefully get better and better at it:

Mae Dean's panoramic photos on flickr

And speaking of Wal-Mart Supercenter ...
A geocache was hidden in its parking lot. :-)

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